Jesus showed the disciples all the people coming towards them and explained that their satisfaction would come from doing the work God was presenting to them, reaping the harvest in front of them,
"Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'?" (John 4:34b ESV)
All around them were fields with young crops, four months away from harvest, but
"Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest." (John 4:35 ESV)
I think Jesus nodded His head towards the people coming down the road. "Look guys, that 'field' walking toward us is ready! Now's the time!"
When the opportunity presents itself, regardless of what your personal agenda might have been, that's the time to take that opportunity and do the most with it. We never know how much time we truly have.
"Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.'" (John 4:36-37 ESV)
The disciples had just been in Sychar buying food. They had had plenty of opportunity to let the townspeople know that the Lord Jesus, Messiah, Who had been performing many signs and miracles in Jerusalem, was just right outside of town by Jacob's well, come and see.
But they didn't.
John's gospel tells us it was the woman who testified about Jesus, and the whole town was her harvest, not the disciples'. Now Jesus was going to rejoice with this woman as her entire town came out to meet Him.
Jesus explained this to His disciples,
"I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor." (John 4:38 ESV)
Archeologists have located Aenon near Salim, where John the Baptist had been baptizing at the end of his ministry. It was near Shechem, which was close to Sychar and Jacob's well. John the Baptist had prepared the 'soil' of this town, and planted the 'seed,' and Jesus had come with His disciples to reap the harvest. His disciples were now going to enter into the harvest even though they really hadn't done anything but go buy food.
The disciples had food for Jesus, but Jesus had food for the Samaritans, and He was teaching His disciples to reach beyond their little group to the world around them, recognizing and feeding those who were so hungry spiritually.
True satisfaction is found in doing God's will
Jesus has sent you and me into the harvest as well. God gives every Christian chances to plant His word in others' hearts, and to cultivate that seed with our love and prayers. In due time that seed will bear fruit to the glory of God.
There are times when you and I will only sow and others will be the ones who get to reap the fruit of the harvest.
Sometimes it is us who will get to reap.
Either way, doing the will of God is the important thing
* In what ways are you accomplishing the mission God has set for you?
* Where are the fields white for harvest around you?
* The disciples needed to broaden their view, get out of their little group. In what ways might you need to look beyond your family or friends?
* All the disciples had to do was reorient their thoughts as they looked at those Samaritans headed towards them. Who do you need to reorient your thoughts about?